Each step in that evolution of animal law has reflected the changes in what society considered to be acceptable treatment of animals, and those changes affected every use of animals from companionship and entertainment, through to food production and research. Those changes have had an enormous impact not just on the lives of animals, but also on people in terms of their responsibilities, accountabilities, and liabilities.
It’s been a 200 year journey from no protection, to anticruelty protections, to animal welfare responsibilities. And the next monumental step is the change that will accompany the law's recent recognition of animals as having emotions, “experiencers of their own life” – or, in the language of the law, animals being “sentient”.
If you didn’t already know it, there are jurisdictions who’s law now states that animals are sentient. So recognition of animals as sentient is not simply a hypothetical debate - that reality is already "here". And while some people are catching up with debates about sentience, the fact is that there are already global leaders who have accepted that its inclusion will require an update of all current standards applying to the use of animals. So what is laws "sentient animal" going to change for people, society, industry, and animals - this time?
The 2017 Guardianz seminar series brings you experts from around the world to show you where animal law is going, and to let you know what the changes means for them, and for you.